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There are 2 very good french language CD courses by Michel Thomas - the first is very basic but the more advanced course is brilliant.  If you have learned french at school then you will probably benefit from the advanced course which teaches you how to form the structure of the language without having to do any homework at all.  I have done a GSCE french course at the local college but regrettably there was little or no actual talking in french so I found these CDs invaluable.  Also, you can download the material on to an Ipod and just plug yourself in whilst doing housework or walking the dog. 

Ive also found the Breakthrough French courses by Stephanie Rybak very good too.  This is a home study course with books - you can also purchase the CDs if you wish as a complete package.  They are carefully structured to make the language learning enjoyable and easy along with grammer checks and quizes.

Then the other really useful thing to have is the Letts French GCSE revision book - they are A4 size but lightweight and produced to help school kids so are very easy to understand and cover all the basics.  They are cheap to buy and even cheaper to obtain via Ebay.

On the internet there is a daily french podcast website which you can subscribe to if you want to do a home study course but if you just want to listen to the podcasts then there is no charge.  The podcasts are split into beginner, intermediate and advanced.  I have found this really really useful as they are short.  Just choose a topic (e.g. food) and listen to the presenter give a short blurb in french and then take it apart bit by bit giving explanations (in french and in english).  This is the web address:        www.dailyfrenchpod.com

You could also try:      http://french.about.com/       this is quite good but the website is not easy to navigate as there is so much information on there.

Hope this helps.  Good luck.

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I nearly always think that free stuff is the best value, especially when it's good stuff!

Firstly, don't miss TV5Monde's "Learn French" website:


Lots of audio and video, all of it free, much of it topical, for all levels. Yes, really. They have beginner's and intermediate stuff. While I find the advanced topical stuff (and Le Monde*) great for adding to my vocabulary, e.g. "à bout portant" and "le bachage" that I encountered yesterday.

* Le Monde (also free) has no structured material, but is great reading practice:


Don't forget the good old Beeb. They have a wealth of material, including structured courses for beginners and intermediates:


Finally,I have found Laura Lawless at About. to be very useful, especially for clarifying grammar questions, but they also have something for everyone.

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  • 1 month later...

"About" does have some really good stuff on it, that's true.

This forum here is also a good place to get replies.

I've also seen the Letts books, they are very cheap but not entirely my cup of tea - maybe that's just me though.

I did a good course at a language school run by Paul Noble. Michel Thomas also produced good courses, as you say - I think they helped many people get unstuck.

I've also been told that linguaphone have done some good course, although apparently they can vary quite a lot in quality.

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I knew no french whatsoever and have found the Michel Thomas course excellent - I bought all the courses including the one that was put together by someone else after his death which I didn't find particularly interesting.

I also signed up for the OU french course about 4 years ago which is very good as you have to do homework which is marked including cassette tapes of yourself speaking french to which your tutor replies back on the same tape explaining where you may have gone wrong but perhaps more importantly explains the pronunciation. You can do it by post or now via the internet.

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  • 1 month later...
I've tried many but there all boring and hard work.

Although when I came here first I used Audible earworm.

Its a great starting point and only costs about £7.

I've used it to learn a little Russian, Italian.

You can listen to it without concentrating on it a bit like a backround track. After a while you'll find yourself saying words not because you were studying them but because you like the sound.

I was able to ask for things in a market and began understanding after one weekend in russia.


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